This week’s movie releases

Bin Laden's fate documented in Zero Dark Thirty and a sub-par Bridesmaid's rip-off

Jessica Chastain in a scene from Zero Dark Thirty. / Jonathan Olley (EFE)

Katherine Bigelow, the former wife of The Terminator director James Cameron, has sparked controversy with her latest action effort, Zero Dark Thirty, a dramatization of the real-life events and Navy SEAL raid that resulted in the death of America’s most-wanted terrorist, Osama Bin Laden. Fans of Bigelow’s previous war flick, the Oscar-winning Hurt Locker, will find plenty to enjoy here, although anyone expecting an even-handed examination of the use of torture by the intelligence community might be disappointed.

If all that action isn’t your thing though, there’s much more to enjoy at the cinemas this weekend, starting with People Like Us, a comedy-drama starring Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks and Michelle Pfeiffer about a salesman who discovers a sister he never knew he had. It’s a somewhat sentimental affair, but ultimately concludes with a satisfying pay-off.

Riding on the wedding-train of the comedy hit Bridesmaids is Bachelorette, whose poster of four female Hollywood stars ogling with delight at a male stripper’s crotch should be enough to put you off before you even buy your ticket. Starring Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Lizzy Caplan, the movie is a pale imitation of the aforementioned charming surprise hit, and completely overdoes the gross-out comedy and foul language.

A 3D circus

Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will be Blood, Magnolia, Boogie Nights) has managed to divide audiences with his latest offering, The Master, a movie that the director freely admits was made without anything resembling a fixed story or plot in place. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams take on the acting duties here, as the viewer follows a navy veteran returning home from World War II in search of his future. It’s one for cinephiles perhaps, but a fascinating watch nonetheless.

Ever since the return of 3D to our cinema screens, thanks to juggernauts such as Avatar, the debate has raged as to whether or not it actually adds any value to the cinema experience — or, as many suspect, it’s simply a way to take more money at the box office. Some films, however, surely do benefit from the 3D experience, and Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away is one of them. For those not lucky enough to have seen the Canadian circus shows live, this stereoscopic experience is the next best thing, with each of the performances having been filmed on stage at their Las Vegas shows. It’s somewhat lacking in coherence as a movie experience, but will keep kids and adults alike enthralled thanks to the daring of the company’s superbly trained acrobats.

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